As reported by 9to5Mac and spotted by the affected publishers, Elon Musk has canceled the ad-free article feature for Twitter Blue subscribers, and the perk disappeared overnight. Previously, Blue subscribers were given access to content from over 300 U.S. publishers through a feature known as “Ad-Free Articles.” Through this program, Twitter would reimburse these publishers for the advertisement cost lost on each page read, and in return, Blue subscribers didn’t have to view ads.
The publishers were only given a single day’s notice of the change. As part of Musk’s new regime, an email was sent out to all the affected companies, stating: “Starting tomorrow, we will stop displaying the ‘Twitter Blue Publisher’ label on any Tweets containing your articles. We will no longer be sending a Twitter Blue token when people on Twitter access articles from your properties. This will prevent the ad-free experience on your site from loading.”
This is an unfortunate development both for the subscribers, who lost what seems like a considerable part of their subscription perks (of which there aren’t that many to begin with), and for the publishers. Whatever work was put into establishing this system can now be considered wasted as the feature was cut with no warning. What other changes will Musk implement as the leader of Twitter? Only time will tell, but it’s likely going to be a wild ride.